The Language in my “Cuisine”

After reading Croque-Camille’s post about Chicken Pot Pie, the light went on. Literally. There’s nothing more frustrating than reading a new recipe and encountering all kinds of food-related terminology that baffles you. It’s a sure way for the cookbook to collect dust on my shelf. At least CC explains them: CLEARLY.

A while back, I was looking at a Marchand de vin sauce and was baffled by the term mirepoix. I didn’t know what it meant at the time, but later found out that it’s the same thing my grandma, my mom, and I always did to prepare a stock, soup, or stew. It’s your basic aromatics of celery, onion, & carrot used for a base, except that’s what WE always called it: la base. The same goes with a lot of specialized food terms used by chefs. Many of the terms, I’ve realized, refer to methods that my grandma always used in the kitchen and with which I am familiar.

There are many other food-related terms, that over time I learned was terminology used by professional chefs or wanna-bes. But I also find it amusing how, when people want to sound sophisticated, they really, really like French words. And then, even I have a hard time pronouncing French terms the English way (like hors d’oeuvres), but that’s for another post.

Now I think I’ll go and prepare brochettes au saumon as an hors d’oeuvres before serving Duck à l’orange for dinner. I thinkCrème brûlée would be perfect for dessert.

Boy, do I need a good pastis as an apéritif before I get started.


  1. Moon said,

    August 7, 2008 at 11:43 am

    you will make a new Gordon Ramsey yet !

  2. August 7, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Uh, I wish!

  3. Moon said,

    August 8, 2008 at 9:28 am

    you probably need to say #### more !

  4. August 9, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Thanks for the kind words! I’m so glad I can help – and that people actually read the Vocabulaire! 🙂 I try to make my recipes clear and straightforward, so it’s great to hear that I’ve succeeded.

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